Being a parent is one of the most rewarding positions I have ever filled. I get "paid" with hugs, kisses, and lots of love and smiles. As a mom of three, I am constantly on the go. My children are 8, 5, and 2. As the school year winds down, my husband and I were faced with one of the most difficult decisions we've had as a parent thus far.
Now, we're back to present day. Last week, on my Tuesday volunteer day the teacher asked me to go over sight words with the kids each individually. I was happy to do so. When it came to my son, unfortunately he was below basic on his recognition of the sight words that we'd worked so hard on earlier in the year. I was immediately concerned. By the end of the day his teacher had contacted me not only about the sight words, but about his reading scores for the end of the year as well. He had only moved up one reading level (which is where he should have been around Christmas break). We immediately scheduled a conference with her.
Brien and I met with the teacher the very next day during the children's activity period. I tried to hold it in, but I could do nothing but cry as we tried to decide his fate. I could only think of all of his friends moving on to 1st grade and him having to start all over again next year if we hold him back. I left the school, got in my car and cried...I cried to myself and I cried out to God to give us the answers we need on whether or not we should hold him back. The teacher left the decision up to us, saying her gut told her to hold him back because of his age.
Over the next few days, Brien and I talked to each other, we talked to Tyler and we sought the advice of friends and family who know Tyler well. I am so thankful for my preacher's wife who is also an educator. I took her Tyler's writing samples, sight word recognition, and reading scores. She shed a lot of light on things for both my husband and myself. She said that if it were her son she would definitely retain him this year. She made very valid points about his age and maturity level. If we were to send him on to 1st grade, he would be starting out behind! We already struggle with trying to study and keep up. 1st grade is more work, harder work, and more responsibility so we're basically starting out behind the 8 ball so to speak.
It was a hard decision...probably one of the most difficult ones I've had to make concerning my little Tyler thus far. I know they will only get more difficult! But, the reason I post it here is just in case someone else might be going through the same thing. Just know that you are not alone. I know it is tough to know that this one decision you make will have a direct effect on his entire academic life! We were in constant prayer and sought lots of advice from friends and families. It was not a decision that we entered into lightly. We are happy with our decision and feel like it will be the best decision for him. Only time will tell.